We’ve all been there: it’s the night before the Halloween party, and you totally forgot to get a costume. Maybe you were busy with work, or you had family commitments that took up too much time, or you were preoccupied with screaming into the senseless bottomless void that is the year 2020. Any and all are good excuses, but you still need to wear something.
If you’re stuck without a costume this year, trying putting together your own DIY Halloween Costume. The simplest ones can be prepared and ready to be worn on the same day of the party, and the supplies required are often kept to a minimum. Plus, people will be impressed with your creativity and dress up skills. Good for your reputation and your bank account, here are some of the best, easiest, and cheapest DIY Halloween Costumes that look great.
The Queen of Hearts
What you’ll need: Red dress, old deck of playing cards, a stapler, red lipstick, white powder makeup
An easy go-to when you have to use only what’s around the house, it only takes a few minutes to throw together this classic costume and transform into an instantly recognizable character.
The only prerequisite required here is a slight familiarity with arts and crafts. The showstopper is if you can make a full collar out of playing cars, but if that sounds like a complicated project, there are easy alternatives. Making a small crown out of the hearts cards only takes a few minutes and goes a long way in terms of transforming a “girl in a red dress” into “The Queen of Hearts.” If that’s still not happening, simply pinning the queen of hearts card onto your dress will suffice. Hey, it’s not an art school project, no one’s going to grade you.
Add a little powder makeup to get that Victorian royalty shade of pale, smear on a little red lipstick, and get ready to have your fellow party goers bow down to your royal skills with DIY Halloween Costumes.
Jim Halpert’s Three Hole Punch Costume
What you’ll need: White dress shirt, black dress pants, black tie, black construction paper, scissors
The platonic ideal of all cheap last minute DIY Halloween Costumes, Jim’s Three Hole Punch is the nightmare scenario of being caught with the cheapest, laziest possible homemade costume. At least in the context of The Office. Outside of the show, it’s bound to get a great reaction from your friends.
The best part of this outfit is that everyone is in on the joke. It’s acknowledging that you didn’t really plan out this Halloween while still being a great pop culture reference and a solid costume. Bonus points if you can find a Pam and make it a couples costume.
Sadness from Inside Out
What you’ll need: blue jeans, light blue sweater, blue face paint/makeup, fake glasses, blue wig (optional)
It might seem like this costume requires a bit of planning and preparation, the good news is that all the elements needed are quick and easy to find. Light blue sweaters can be found at any thrift store or Goodwill, and a blue wig can be substituted for blue hair dye. Or you could ignore the hair aspect all together, because the essential part to pulling the costume together is the blue face paint. If you’re willing to blow an entire supply of blue eyeshadow to cover your face, more power to you.
Now that Inside Out has earned a place among other Pixar classics, you’ll be sure to get recognized in this costume. Even better, if the party blows and you aren’t having a good time, the acting portion of the costume will come naturally.
The Men in Black
What you’ll need: white dress shirt, black dress pants, black suit jacket, sunglasses, fake gun/blinking light (optional)
If Jim’s Hole Punch Outfit isn’t your style, there’s still a way to put that old business suit to good use. Throw on a sweet pair of Ray Bans and get ready to fight some alien scum, because you’ll be channelling your inner Big Willie Style with this easy Men in Black homemade outfit.
The tricky part of this costume is the accessories. If you’re just a guy in a suit with sunglasses, you might not get the point across. Are you a bouncer? A bodyguard? A blind man with an impeccable sense of fashion? A fake gun might be a little too violent, so see if you can rig up a mind neutralizer out of a blinking light and a stick. If that doesn’t work, just shine your flashlight on your phone in people’s eyes and they’ll understand.
What you’ll need: black cocktail dress, fake jewelry, heels of your choice, white gloves (optional), hairband
Party the night away like it’s 1920 instead of 2020, because any excuse to ignore this year is good enough for me.
Another one of the DIY Halloween Costumes that is surprisingly easy to find elements that you already have, the major work that goes into this outfit doesn’t have to do with buying anything. Sure, some flappers had the long hair look, but the most iconic and instantly recognizable ones are the girls who had the short bobs. If you’re not willing to cut your actual hair for one night, there are plenty of guides to putting up your hair so it looks like a classic pinup look. Just add a string of fake pearls, some rings, and a choice heel, and you’re in business.
What you’ll need: an insane number of “My Name Is” stickers, Sharpie, robber mask (optional)
The easiest costume on this entire list to pull off, your supplies are kept to a minimum and the bang for your buck is kept at a maximum. You can customize your outfit by writing your fellow party guest’s names on the stickers to put just a little touch of effort into your outfit, but even random names are hilarious.
The tradeoff is that you’ll probably be explaining yourself all night. When your friends get it, they might laugh, they might groan, but they won’t be able to argue that it’s a bad costume idea. If you’re looking for the cheapest of DIY Halloween Costumes with the biggest payoff, go with the identity thief every time.
What you’ll need: long black dress/caftan, moody makeup, a ton of scarves
Embrace your inner Stevie Nicks by pulling out some eyeliner, brewing up some evil potions, and brushing up on your peagan rituals. If you can somehow summon a constant stream of bats behind you, then you’ll know you’ve gotten the outfit just right. If you can scare someone by hiding in a dark corner, you’ll have done the DIY Halloween Costumes Gods right.
You don’t need to look like Professor McGonagall in order to get your look across. If your makeup is on point, the scarves are flowing just so, and the lipstick is dark enough, no one will be able to mistake you for anything else.